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)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Floods and Bible reading

This the exact spot I turned away from, just earlier in the day!
Yesterday, if you were in this part of the country… it was raining and raining and RAINING! So much so that it closed Southfield (a local freeway). If you didn’t know this about me, I am severely scared of driving through water. I’ve never been stuck, but I’ve had a few times when I’ve said “I’ll never take that chance again” and I don’t.

Last night after I was coming home from JoAnn Fabrics I took outer drive home. Not usually any problems, HOWEVER, last night the underpass was flooded, and I tried to turn down a street, that wasn’t actually a street, but an entrance to a building (I was panicking, what can I say) so I decided that I was NOT going to go through that water, there was already one car stuck and I was not going to be the second, and even if I didn’t get stuck, it is not good for your brakes to go through that, or my carpet in my car could have gotten ruined if the water came through the door. No thank you!

So what did I do… I decided to be the trendsetter (almost every car followed my lead) and go north on the southbound side (don’t know what direction I was actually going because Outer Drive winds around so much).

I tell you, there is a lesson in this. If you see a mess. Don’t try to go through it. Going back to a safer route may be a little rough for a minute, people may scoff at you, may give you the finger (this happened to me yesterday), but just go in the right direction, God guides our path, just smile, wave, and hopefully people will follow you to higher ground.

As for my reading this morning… Luke 2:1-20

I’ve read it a million (ok 50) times, I can probably recite parts of it…

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

There were a couple things that stood out to me this morning…
Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. v10
Good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Not some of the people. Not a couple of the people. Not whether you are rich or poor. Doesn’t matter. He came to be bring us great joy! Doesn’t that make your heart sing with gladness!! God doesn’t always change our circumstances, but it is up to us to change our hearts, and worship Him! Again… we live by faith not by feelings!!!!

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart v19
In the midst of all that was going on, it is noted that Mary treasured up everything and pondered them in her heart. If Mary was one of those crazy people who writes all the things she is thankful for on her facebook (e-em) couldn’t you just see her blowing it up? Her heart must have been overflowing!!! She was the vessel that God used to bring JESUS! Light of the World! Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6). What a blessing to bring the King!

It makes me think, how many times I have the opportunity to bring Jesus to people, maybe not in the way that Mary did, but I do have the opportunity. But I have to remember to get out of the way! Let Him do the talking! Let Him do the loving! Let Him!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I was reading Matthew 1 today as part of my YouVersion Rediscovering Christmas, and to be honest when it comes to all that geneology stuff, I usually skip over it. But today I read it, and I was kind of excited (I realized I am a dork) that I actually understood the order and I GOT IT! That was pretty cool… I thought about that… (as a side note, I always ask God to reveal something to me)… and then I kept reading about Jesus and Joseph. Could you imagine back in that time, as a male, you were supposed to marry someone and then she gets pregnant ‘by the Holy spirit’, however NO ONE TOLD THEM ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT before that time!!!! And here’s this guy Joseph who is going to quietly divorce her (v 19)… Crazy! But he changes his mind/heart because the Holy Spirit came… this is going to fulfill the prophecy (v22).
And I wonder, did he waver? How many times God tells me to do something, and I just kind of wrestle with Him… ‘Really God? You want me to do WHAT?!’ And I KNOW that what He asks me is for my own good and His glory… I know about the Holy Spirit… I KNOW! So what does that say to me? TRUST GOD NO MATTER WHAT! We live by faith, not be feelings. It is not by our knowledge but by His wisdom that we should live.
Let the Word of God speak to me, and may I always listen, and obey.
Matthew 1
The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah
1 This is the genealogy[a] of Jesus the Messiah[b] the son of David, the son of Abraham:
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
4 Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
6 and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
9 Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah[c] and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
12 After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,
Abihud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
14 Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Elihud,
15 Elihud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.
17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.
Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[e] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”).
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas List

I was about to start putting up my Christmas decorations and it's been a crazy kind of day!  The kind of day when in the middle of it all I wonder 'what is the point of today?' and then at lunch a read a post like this.

I go to the gym and inspired by my friend Becky, I start the You Version Rediscovering Christmas Plan.  I started it at the gym (no point in waiting until tomorrow), and I read about an old lady who worshipped God in the temple... she never left (Luke 2:37).  And even though I can't spend all day, every day in the temple, I know that I am the church, and how I long to bring Jesus to others, to my mission field, sometimes it is work, sometimes it is someone's house, Target... wherever God has called me.  I fail so much!  I wish I was so much better at living out His love....

When I got home, I pulled out this one Santa/Reindeer moving thing...  Anyone who tells me that God isn't in Santa & Reindeer just might get a 'what for'... because I see God in that Santa & that silly reindeer.  You see, Phyllis got that when she was in the hospital in 1997.  She was 4, diagnosed with JRA.  December 5, 1997 to be exact.  That was a rough few days... and the days ahead.  I can't even put it into words.  My dad got it for her while she was in hospital. I only left once in the days we were there, to go take a shower.  That was such a long time ago... and in the middle of those days, I don't know how I made it...  And in that time I wondered... what is the point of all this?

That time seems like a lifetime ago.

I think about this Christmas season and why God has given me such a giving heart.  Anyone who knows me knows I'd much rather give than receive.  It's because I know what it is to be in want and in need.  I know what it is to have and have not.  I know.  I know what it's like to have a sick child, and a healthy one.  I know how our lives can change in an instant.  

I also know the love and grace of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.  I know it because I've lived all those things.  Pastor Chilly asked what was on our lists...  Really... nothing.  I don't need anything.  And that makes me so happy, it fills my heart with joy!

I turned on Pandora to play 'CHRISTmas music' which just was the Hillsong United Channel.  Mighty to Save...  My God is mighty to save.  I don't need a thing.  A Lord, A Savior, He came!  He came to give us live, to give us peace, to give us Joy.  He came so that we could know the greatness of True Love.

It's a crazy thing this holiday season, I see His provision all over it.  I see it in coffee mugs, in Santa& Reindeer lighty things, I see it in face, I see it in my life, in my meals, in the daughter that I never deserved.  I see it in my home, and plastic window stuff, I see it all over the place. I see it in my friends that I don't deserve.  I see Him.  

I want to be like that woman. I want to worship all the time.  I want to love God so much, that He is all I see!

Join me in the reading plan.  Tell me how He's changed your life.  Whisper to me a story of His amazing grace and love in your life!  

Luke 2:21-40
On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Jesus Presented in the Temple

22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord"t),24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: "a pair of doves or two young pigeons."t
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Messiah.27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required,28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismisst
 your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel."
33 The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him.34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against,35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too."
36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.t She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

Some very fascinating things about me

So... since I've got so much on my mind...I thought I'd share with you... aren't you lucky?

When too much starts to happen in my life (like this Saturday) - I want to crawl under a rock.  I am a pretty busy person, life is usually on High with me, but the moment it gets to 'Extreme' I want to die...  I get so overwhelmed that I forget... one bite at a time, it all gets done... so you show up a few minutes late...  but I'll get there.  I have to say that 5 things (nails, small group, RC meal, niece's b-day, a house warming) scheduled (nothing I want to cancel!!!!) on Saturday may be a bit much... add in that I am making dinner for Metro AND Alive on Sunday - oh brother!  Calgon take me away!  Knowing this is coming I will be diligent in my bible reading.  Jesus will be the only thing that saves me!

I love my job but I believe I really will die at my desk.  Brain anuersym, heart attack.... probably going to happen. I am not kidding either.

I need to get my plastic on my windows done.  That big window is haunting me! 

I always get my tree up (and decorated) the week BEFORE Thanksgiving, everything comes down Christmas night (true story!) or the 26th at the LATEST!  I feel overwhelmed that I am late!  only my tree is up.  Today I will bring everything up and get started!

I think people should act honestly.

I am thankful for my life. As crazy as it is (including the high blood pressure, spots in my vision, and blurry vision),  I wouldn't change it. I love all my extended family, my nieces and nephews that God gave me through Love. 

I love that Jesus is the captain of my ship... I love that He can calm any crazy sea that comes my way. I love that while I am in the mission field, and people throw grenades at me, He is my shield!

Psalm 3:3  But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the one who lifts my head high

so there you go... pray for me...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Random thoughts

Here’s some random thoughts…

So here’s my thoughts on black Friday… how about that… I love shopping, I love getting a good deal, but I will not do it at the expense of being a jerk, losing sleep, or being crabby. I went out this morning with my sister in law at 6:30, there wasn’t anything that we would have killed anyone over, but some good deals were to be had. I got a bunch of toys for Joy to the D, and a couple things for Phyllis… The good thing about having a daughter that is almost 19 is that she can go shopping with you… and so you know what you get her she will like. Yes, it does take out some of the surprise, but whatever… I did get some good deals and was sure to say ‘Hi, how are you?’ without needing anything.

I do love giving at Christmas. Yes, I know it is not about the gifts… I know that Santa Claus is not real, I know He is not the reason for the season… but remember… God GAVE His Son. Acts 20:35… I would rather give a gift than get a gift…

Also all you peeps who freak out about ‘Merry Christmas’ or Happy Holidays… Relax a little will you… You can say Merry Christmas, and in the interest of not offending anyone, they may say ‘Happy Holidays’… there is Hannakah, Christmas, Kwanza, my birthday (which is a National Holiday… also know as New Year’s Day). I hate when people write ‘X-mas’ but I don’t bring a full on debate about it, I choose not to write it. Say what you like and allow people the latitude to say what they need to or want to… life is a lot easier without a bunch of crabby Patty’s.

Did you know that you are not supposed to drive on the spare tire aka ‘donut’ and you especially shouldn’t do it for long periods of time, on one of the front tires.

TPMS stands for Tire Pressure Monitoring System. It’s the light that tells you if your air pressure is low in your car. It’s a great invention.

Reuben dip might just be one of the greatest things on the planet earth.

Walked outside last night, and I wanted to throw on a pair of running pants, a sweatshirt, and running shoes and RUN! I miss it so much!

The new Muppet movie was pretty good, kind of corny but good, not really sure why it got PG instead of G. but it was good. Glad I got to see it… they played some stupid Toy story thing before it… dumb.

I have been posting a lot the things I am thankful for lately… it’s made my heart sing!

Thankful for my niece and nephew (s) who did the gingerbread houses this weekend. We had fun!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

He came...

I had a whole different post for today, I’ll post it later…

I was listening to the song ‘Winter Snow’ by Chris Tomlin, it’s one of my favorite Christmas songs… I am having weird chest thing going on… and I’m listening to it… really listening to it, letting it sink into the depths of my soul. The Christ Child. Amazing. I’m fighting back tears…

He could have come…

He came so that we could have life. And to the fullest. Don’t be fooled by things that steal your joy, or your life ,or your love.

My life is crazy, it’s busy, and last night I had this amazing overwhelming need to go be with my friend and her baby. I could have given you a list of things that needed to be done… but only one thing seemed important. Loving my friend. So when there seems to be so much to do, loving seems the most important to do. I spent some sweet time smooching my sleeping nephew. Snuggling up. Nothing seemed more important than that. I imagine that sometimes when I am all crazy inside, that God knows that I just need some snuggle time. It does wonders for my soul.

I never doubt God’s love for me. I never doubt that when He tells me to go do something, it is for His good, and mine.

God could have come like a storm, like a fire, He came like a baby (just as promised in Isaiah 9), He came so that we could have peace, joy, and love. Does that blow you away like it does me?

Isaiah 9:6-7
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.

Could've come like a mighty storm
With all the strength of a hurricane
You could've come like a forest fire
With the power of heaven in Your flame

But You came like a winter snow
Quiet and soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

You could've swept in like a tidal wave
Or an ocean to ravish our hearts
You could have come through like a roaring flood
To wipe away the things we've scarred

But You came like a winter snow
(Yes, You did)
You were quiet
You were soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

Oh, no, Your voice wasn't in a bush burning
No, Your voice wasn't in a rushing wind
It was still
It was small
It was hidden

You came like a winter snow
Quiet and soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

To the earth below
You came falling
From the sky in the night
To the earth below

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful heart!

Even when I go to the gym, while getting ready I ‘watch’ TV. Typically the shows I DVR’d I watch in the morning.  ‘Watch’ is used loosely since I don’t actually sit down for most of it.  However, yesterday I discovered the Pandora Hillsong United channel.  Now, please don’t get all ‘how could you not know that’ on me.  I had no idea such a thing existed, just like most you don’t know that you can freeze bananas when they start to turn and then thaw them, and cut the end off, and swoosh right into your banana bread. There, now we’re even J

One of my very favorite songs is Savior King.  It was the first song I heard this morning.  Instantly I started praying for Jon Whaley, Katie, and the Alive Band… and then soon the Alive Staff.  I feel so greatful to be able to pray.  Even outloud if I want to…

Yesterday I went off the deep end with posting all the things I was thankful for, and I could have kept going (just so you know!).

Normally I go into the holiday season with a list of ‘to-dos’ and a lot of stress. There is some stress right now…  but I have to say that my to-dos seem so much easier because God is writing my list.  And with each ta-done I’m more thankful!

I plan on enjoying this holiday season with all the things I’m thankful for.  Jesus being at the top of the list.

Col 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Crazy Thankful!

I don’t know what happened to me today…  I have been a crying fool since I walked into the Magic Stick today!  Thankfully I was on time because… I didn’t stop at Starbucks… I got a little bit of a late start and so I would have been late had I not planned on bringing my own tea!  Dropped off some of my Joy to the D gifts…  And then the Worship (singing) started… All day and instantly I was in time travel back to Fuel, Dave Buckenberger and the Fuel Band… and awesome Jr High Students… and I prayed for those students and those that are far from God... tears. But He is faithful in His pursuit.

 And then ‘Famous One’ oh man there went the tears thinking about a time when Phyllis and I sang that song at the top of our lungs… now if you know me… the Psalm ‘Joyful Noise’ is the truth, I don’t really sing all that well.  And I just kept thinking about how good, how GREAT God is, and how He gives and gives and gives!  His faithfulness…  And then we sang a song I never had heard before, so it gave me a chance to listen to the song and the words, to listen God whisper how much He loves me!  And how thankful I am to love Him!  As always, Chilly ‘brought it’.  And then baby dedications…  oh, I was crying then too!  LIFE!  And then I become super crazy with posting all the things I am thankful for!

And I came home to the TV playing Pandora 'Hillsong United Station'.

God is indeed good, and faithful! 


“Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” Psalm 95:1-2 NIV

Crazy and ridiculous

I was finishing up the ‘sauce’ of the sloppy joes when I found myself thankful and full of joy.  Yes, I got up at 6:30 after going to be late to make dinner (I could have slept in later).  The bible says that Jesus went to a quiet place to pray, and I know that it is important however, my favorite place to pray?  My kitchen (it's my fig tree - John 1:48-50)), because it is the most peaceful place in my house, even when it seems like chaos.  It is a place where I have constant memories, so and so likes this, so and so DOESN'T like that being in my kitchen reminds me of those I love - and then I pray)...  My kitchen is the hub of our house. 

Last week I had the worst migraine, none of ‘my tricks’ were working, and I’ve had migraines since I was about 6 so I usually know what works and what doesn’t.  I had offered to cook lasagna for a couple of my peeps and since Wednesday was the only day I could make it… I didn’t have a choice.  Well, I always have the choice of not doing it, however, that didn’t really seem like a choice.  While in the middle of putting it together, I realized, I no longer had a headache!  Yippee.  Peace.

This morning while making sloppy joes, I was praying for the leaders, and students.  I was praying for them as a group and as individuals, I was praising God for them.  For the gifts and talents they have. I was thinking about how I could make tonight better… didn’t really come up with much, but I was praying.  I began to pray for their lives. 

I know that to some, it might sound completely ridiculous that I love being a mom, I guess more like an Auntie, to these people or that I like to be their friends, and cook for them and pray for them. It might sound crazy that I find peace in serving others through food.  It might sound ridiculous and crazy that I love taking care of others in small and probably insignificant ways…

I know that it all seems small (and maybe insignificant), crazy and ridiculous that my heart finds such peace & joy in these things…  I pray that someday, you know how great it is to find peace & joy in small (and maybe insignificant) things too!  For then, you will have discovered your gifts and talents from a God who loves you so much!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Not defined

Yesterday, I had no choice but to go get a new pair of jeans.  One size BIGGER than I had.  Seriously, it was getting ridiculous how uncomfortable I was.

At some point (not sure which point, or if I'll ever be back there again...) I realized... I am not defined by a pair of jeans.

Here's the deal, I know what size I am.  I don't need anyone to remind me.  I would like to lose weight.  But until I get a really good 'all clear' from the doc, I can't really exercise like I'd like.   I don't need a pair of stupid tight jeans to remind me of the lack of exercise and the poor choices in food I've made.

I know that I struggle with my weight and food, I always have, and I might always, I don't know.  Maybe it's that in some way I am not surrendering this part of my life over to Jesus... hmmmm..  food for thought (LOL!).

I was listening (OVER AND OVER) to the song Aftermath by Hillsong United today.  And I was praying for my heart to surrender this to Him.  To remember that I am not defined by food, by jeans, by anything other than Him.  This is not to say that I am giving myself permission to make poor choices, or give up this battle. This is to say that I refuse to wear those things around my neck like an anchor, that causes me to sink lower and lower.


[Verse 1:]
The skies lay low where You are
On the earth You rest Your feet
Yet the hands that cradle the stars
Are the hands that bled for me

[Chorus 1:]
In a moment of glorious surrender
You were broken for all the world to see
Lifted out of the ashes
I am found in the aftermath

[Verse 2:]
Freedom found in Your scars
In Your grace my life redeemed
For You chose to take the sinner's crown
As You placed Your crown on me

[Chorus 2 :]
In that moment of glorious surrender
Was the moment You broke the chains in me
Lifted out of the ashes
I am found in the aftermath

And in that moment You opened up the heavens
To the broken the beggar and the thief
Lifted out of the wreckage
I find hope in the aftermath

And I know that You're with me
Yes I know that You're with me here
And I know Your love will light the way

[Chorus 3:]
Now all I have I count it all as loss
But to know You and to carry the cross
Knowing I'm found
In the light of the aftermath

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How much does it cost?

When I am ‘on top of my game’, there isn’t a dollar that gets spent without thinking of the long term effects of my purchase. I’d be lying if I said I’m always on top of my game. I do believe that when I am faithful in small things God trusts me with larger things.

I was explaining to a teenager the ‘cost’ of something. It was McDonald’s soda. $1. If you go to McDonald’s 15 times a month, and you buy $1 soda with someone else… the cost is $30/month or $360 per year.

If you add flaming hot cheetos snack size bags at the grocery store at $1 a bag – buying 2 when you go… 2 time a week that’s $16 per month… $192 per year.

That’s $552 PER YEAR on stuff that you don’t even need… She was talking about wanting a $200 camera...  she could almost buy 3 cameras...

And if you don't think it's 'that much'... you can write me a check...

In our house, we don’t really drink pop, never been big pop drinkers, thankfully, but there are other things that I do spend our money on… and I am evaluating that ‘stuff’. We don’t eat chips… but we do love Nutella… or cereal… or… you get the point.

We also love to eat out… I LOVE it! LOVE IT! I love walking in after a long stressful day, and ordering food, relaxing/chatting a bit, eating, and not cleaning up. But I also know that comes with a price. It costs me not being able to go on more vacations, it means less in my savings accounts, it means less to give. Or getting a lump in my throat when I think about buying tires for my van. It means more stress than needed when think about college…

So while I help others, I don’t point out things without thinking about how what I spend my money effects us, what does it cost us?

Yesterday I ran late for a meeting… I thought about stopping and just grabbing something… quick Arby’s Wendy’s, McDonald’s subway, but I had spaghetti left over from lunch… but I thought about it… one meal out a week… That is not the meal I would choose if I only allow myself one meal out a week. So I ate cold spaghetti. I did. Because it might have not been my first choice, but it was the best choice.

There is a book by Andy Stanley ‘The greatest question ever’. And in the book it says that you should ask yourself when making a decision…

Is this a wise decision based on my past experiences, my current circumstances, and my future hopes and dreams?

WOW! Think about that for a minute or an hour… or a week. And start thinking about the decisions you make…

So back to my question… what does it cost you?

For me… spending money when I shouldn’t does cost me money, it costs me not being able to give, it costs me vacations, it costs me stress, but most importantly and really the only thing that truly matters…

It costs me a closer relationship with Jesus.

When I am stressing out and begging for Him to rescue me out of my current circumstances… When I am worried… When I KNOW what His word says, and I made the wrong choice, it makes me sin, it means that in order for me to get right, it’s an apology and repentance. All the while, we (me & Jesus) could have been laughing and making a difference for His Kingdom.

How much does it cost me?

More than I like to admit.  And more than I'm willing to sacrifice.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Two thoughts rolling around my heart

My daughter and I are thick as thieves. I love her, we’ve always been close. Why? I think it’s always because I’ve taken interest in whatever she does and it’s kind of always just been us. We are close to our family, however, at the end of the day, when the doors are locked, it’s us.
I’ve always been the mom that for the most part made one meal (there is always the offer of PB&J if she didn’t like dinner and at one point, when she was sick, I let her eat endless amount of spaghetti’os that didn’t last too long)… I’ve been the mom who didn’t pay for doing chores and expected help around the house. She’s the one who does the laundry for the most part (I do too but she keeps it going) and she’s the bathroom cleaner. She can cook, clean, do the dishes.
We both are very busy, we’ve always been very busy. Because we believe in striving for excellence, there is often a lot of stress in our house. And sometimes we get a little crabby with each other. We appreciate each other, but as the mom, when I notice that things get a little snippy in our house, I know that it is time for some ‘mom&Phyllis time’. Sometimes it’s just dinner at Panera, this weekend it was 2 hours each way to Lansing, catching up, and enjoying each other’s company. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just needs to be us. It doesn’t take long for us to get back to our normal selves.

I cannot express to anyone how much I love my girl. I don’t just love her because she’s my daughter, I love her for who she is. I love hearing about her interests, her goals, I love just listening to her.

Last night before I went to bed I asked her to do some ‘darks’ and I hung them up this morning. We make a good team. And we’ve got clean clothes for the week.

As a mom, I’ve learned a lot about relationships. I’ve learned a lot about talking about how things make me feel, and asking when I need help. I’ve learned how to love more than I ever thought possible. And in that, I’ve raised a girl who is appreciative and a proverbs 31 young lady.

Eze 16:44 “‘Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: “Like mother, like daughter.”

My second thought of the day… is about a sermon I heard yesterday. Generousity.

Yesterday I touched on it a little, but today, I actually had to live it. You see, a lot of people that that I am a great ‘giver’ but sometimes I am so stingy with my blessings, especially if someone is getting on my nerves. Today, I really wanted to ‘pass ‘ someone on a blessing I could have given them. It wasn’t some magical thing, but a small gesture. I mean my flesh was like ‘blah blah blah’ but then I thought back to a verse that one of my girls had sent me…

Proverbs 3:3
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.

Now, I am not going to lie, when she sent it to me I wanted to send that scripture about spec/plank thing… But instead I used it as a time to really reflect on my heart. I knew she was right.

When I woke up this morning, emptied the dishwasher, hung up laundry (see above), packed lunch, and all the other things I did this morning, I was praying. And as I prayed on my way into work… ‘Give me ways to live generously Lord’ was my prayer. And it’s easy to make Katie & Adam and the boys food, I love them and they don’t get on my nerves (LOL), and it’s easy to get Bobby Starbucks when I am there getting my tea (IT’S NOT SUNDAY SO IT’S ALLOWED!), but when someone hurts me or gets on my nerves, then it’s NOT easy. But I remember reading in the book Crazy Love, it’s easy to love your family, but the people who you find it hardest to love are the ones who need it the most. Man, that’s good I remember thinking after I read that.

So as I set out this holiday season… I don’t just want to give generously of my time and money, I want to LIVE generously with my time, money, AND my heart. May everything I do reflect Jesus.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Meals and a relaxing weekend!

So I’ve got my meals planned out for the week. This is what it was supposed to be:

Sunday – Spaghetti
Monday – Keilbasa & Scalloped potatoes (from Family Feasts cookbook)
Tuesday – Chicken Pot Pie
Wednesday – Leftovers
Thursday – Lasagne
Friday – LG (so out to dinner)
Saturday – Crockpot Chicken Enchiladas

HOWEVER, we have leftovers from Friday that can be eaten tomorrow… And half a box of Whole Grain Penne Noodles… and so in the interest of not wasting money… This is our new menu (we have all the stuff to make this menu):

Sunday – Spaghetti

Monday – Chicken Tacos
Tuesday – Keilbasa & Scalloped potatoes (from Family Feasts cookbook)
Wednesday – Chicken ALfredo
Thursday – Lasagne
Friday – Leftovers
Saturday – Not sure…

It actually didn’t change too much, just a little rearranging… no point in wasting the tacos, and it actually works out better to have the kielbasa and potatoes on Tuesday… Don’t want to lose sight of the end goal… feed my family good meals, at a good price, and honor God.

And this weekend, now that it is over… was fabulous. I went to church in Lansing, and it was so great… It was a teaching on generosity, and I thought when I walked in it was going to be about giving… but it was not about generously giving, it was about generously living.

I never really thought about it too much… the difference. But it made me think about making the most of every opportunity to serve others. Whether it is a needed meal or something else. Whether soone needs food, or love, or money. Depends on the need but whatever it is, I am sure God will provide.

Friday, November 11, 2011


The things that get me thinking… a long post on FB about song lyrics. So I wondered, what is one song that gets me everytime?

Now that I have seen, I am responsible… faith without deeds is dead.

Albertine by Brooke Fraser


people ask me about heaven they ask me about the scripture, John 14:6 I am the way the truth and the life. No one gets to the Father except through me.

The question they usually ask me, even Christians, if they never heard about Jesus, do they go to heaven? I really don’t know the answer to that. I know that I love and serve a loving God, but I don’t know. But this I do know. We are CALLED to go make disciples of all nations. Maybe I am not called to a certain place, but someone in my life may be, or someone they know. And it’s a avalanche effect. One snow flake decides he wants to go down the hill, he takes his friend and before you know it… a party erupts and the world has never been the same.

Matthew 28:18-20
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

I know that I am called to go dig a well in El Salvador, I know that Rosie is called to Haiti, I know Kevin has a heart for missions, Colombia. I also know that I am called to spend time in Africa. But I also know that Detroit is my home. I know that I am called to make a difference, maybe a small difference everyday, but a difference nonetheless. I don’t know the impact of my deeds, but I know that I am to be obedient.

People say things about Detroit that are true. Drugs, corruption. I know. But there is hope. There is Jesus. I don’t believe He left. I don’t believe it. He says SURELY I am with you ALWAYS to the very end of the age. Maybe some started their own avalanche effect, only it was destructive. Clean up takes time, but it can be done.

I know that once I have seen, I AM responsible. That without Christ I am nothing, and with Him, my life is everything. It matters.

I don’t know the answer to the question that is often asked of me, but I do know, I am called, we are all called. Go and make disciples. It is indeed scary sometimes but He is with you.

I'm going, how about you?

Here's the lyrics to Albertine by Brooke Fraser

I am sitting still
I think of Angelique
her mothers voice over me
And the bullets in the wall where it fell silent
And on a thousandth hill, I think of Albertine
there in her eyes what I don't see with my own

now that I have seen, I am responsible
Faith without deeds is dead
now that I have held you in my own arms, I cannot let go till you are

I am on a plane across a distant sea
But I carry you in me
and the dust on, the dust on, the dust on my feet

I will tell the world, I will tell them where I've been
I will keep my word
I will tell them Albertine

I am on a stage, a thousand eyes on me
I will tell them, Albertine
I will tell them, Albertine

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Joy is in the giving!

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

 I was thinking this morning about making some homemade gifts. I was actually not thinking about cookie mixes or hot chocolate, I was thinking about taco seasoning. I know, crazy, but I know how much we love it (I don’t buy taco seasoning anymore!) which got me thinking about giving.

For the month of November (7-30), our food bill is estimated for $150 for two people 3 meals a day. I will report at the end of the month how we actually did (My original food bill was $350). I’ve spent $82 so far. This $150 includes our meals + two meals for the Alive staff and 5 meals for additional families (and our bs taco meal tomorrow). I do have a pretty well stocked pantry so that has really helped!

I’ve decided that for the month of November no coffee/tea will be bought on Sundays and the money will be donated to Joy to the D. It’s $50, not going to change the world with $50 but it might change someone’s world so I am going for it! (that’s 5 toys – maybe more depending on the deal!)

I started to do the math with all the eating out that was done while I was on crutches… this is only for breakfast and lunch. ($7 per day for breakfast & ~$9 per day for lunch). I couldn’t really make either of those meals and really that’s just an excuse… I probably could have figured out a better choice… That’s $80. That $80 could buy 8 toys (again, maybe more depending on the deal) for families… and since I’m not buying EITHER of those meals now, that money too will go to Joy to the D.

I love giving. I love that in some small way, I make a difference! Those families will never know me, but sending Glory to the Kingdom makes me joyful! I guess thus bring joy to LP too!

I love seeing smiles of people that get a blessing. I love getting hugs! I do! I love making a difference. It’s completely selfish! I know that it blesses others, but it blesses me too. The blessing is in the blessing!

I’m not going to say that my ‘wanter’ isn’t on, there are things that I WANT… I WANT an Iphone 4s, I WANT an Kindle fire. I WANT to eat out. I WANT a new microwave (a black one!). As soon as Phyllis gets her acceptance letter, I will WANT a MSU sweatshirt (LOL). I WANT I WANT I WANT… But I can remember when I want I want I want was filled with I NEED I NEED I NEED. When we really did go without, when being broke meant we didn’t have to nickels to rub together and now it’s two twenties. I remember. I think of how many times people blessed me (and I certainly didn’t deserve it) and I consider myself very blessed!! And so I know how thankful I was in those times, and so I am going to take my wants and transfer it over to someone else’s need.

I love giving. I know that Christmas is NOT about gifts. It’s about giving. It’s about a God who loved so much that He GAVE His Son so that we would not just have joy, but we would have LIFE! If He only GAVE us life, that would be enough! It would be more than enough! But He not only gives us eternal life, He GIVES us JOY, PEACE, and LOVE! And so I will give, because He gave. I’ll love because He loved.

1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Menu Plan for the Month of November

I did have meals planned for the 6th, & 7th but when I filled this out, it was the 7th... so I didn't bother :)

Light of the World

Most people wouldn’t know when my life is a mess. I tend to keep my arms around my mess, I try to hold it in. I don’t often tell people what is really bothering, to my core. They don’t see my heart. You could probably see the symptoms that when you ask me how I am I say “ok” or “fine” or “good”. It is my way of holding in the bad crap in my life because if I start to tell you, I’d start blubbering. There is also the symptom that I eat out too much. I feel like it’s easier… but sooner or later I have to count the cost, and it’s usually in my checkbook. It’s not that I am going or in the poor house, but I then have to buckle down a little more, turn off ‘my wanter’. My sleep pattern is disturbed and when I wake up, I find it hard to fall asleep. For the last week, I have slept like crap. I have awaken to not be able to fall asleep. Last night was about all I could take. I said “this is it Lord, I need to sleep, give me peace, this will all work out, help me”. I prayed and fell asleep.

I’ve got to scratch some more money out of the budget. A bigger college bill is coming, and I’d like to not have my daughter do student loans. I’ll be honest, I am not sure how to achieve this, I heard myself say ‘I’ but I know that if it is His will, it will come, I don’t know how I will do it, but I know He is able (Eph 3:20). But it will happen.

I’m doing what I can do. I’ve tried to plan meals for the week. Now because of my friend Nicole (who I inspired to meal plan) I’ve planned the meals for the rest of November, it’s only really 3 weeks but it’s a start! I actually did almost all the shopping for the meals last night ($80). One stop at Aldi and I should be good to go(maybe $30)! I will have to make a couple stops at Trentwood for some fruits and veggies but I am going to be disciplined enough to stay with just a few things, whatever is seasonal and on sale.

Another thing is that when things are not right for me, I do not give people the benefit of the doubt. God really kicked my tail on this yesterday. If someone mentions something to me, I will assume they want something from me. And usually we are just talking… it’s my heart that is being selfish, if I see a need, I should just know that they may (or not) need help, but I should always be so willing to give that it shouldn’t matter.

Lessons. Keep your heart in check.

Not a great picture, but the actual sunrise from my van
So today when I left for work, I saw this amazing sunrise. And my good friend said to me “His mercies are new every morning” (Lam 3:21-23) I just looked it up. It makes me want to cry! I mean really, if I let go of all I am holding back, I’d be sobbing. Read it:

21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

When I saw this sunset I thought about the verse, a light on a hill cannot be hidden.

Matthew 5:14-15

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

I did think, oh this reminder. Something might come my way, let me by a light for You Lord, I belong to you. Confrontation. My flesh wanted to just blow up. I made my point, and just kept thinking ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus’. It wasn’t easy, and I wanted to eat 10 bags of peanut M&Ms when I got back to my desk. I wanted to, but I didn’t. I am a light that cannot be hidden, not because of me, but because HIS light is in me, and it cannot be estinguised. Last week my bible study read John 1:1-18. About 6 months ago, I was blown away by John 1:5 (we read it in 3 or 5 - I can’t remember - versions)

(NIV)The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it
(NLT) The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
(NJKV) And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it
(AMP) And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it].

Am I the only one blown away by this? I am just amazed. Sometimes we don’t hear God, sometimes we don’t feel God. But in the last couple weeks, He has blown my socks off!

Whatever comes my way… He’s there. He is the light. It is in me, and it can’t be overcome, extinguished, overpowered, and did you read NKJV- darkness cannot even COMPREHEND it! That is something worth celebrating!

So hear I go… confident in Him, who is able!

Eph 3:20-21 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Do something!

A beautiful young woman posted yesterday (last night) “We can't feed the poor but we can fund a war?” (thank you huney for inspiring me, and getting me to pray about my part in this equation)

I don’t believe it’s the government’s job to feed the poor.  Welfare was established to be temporary.  To help people get on their feet.  People have taken advantage of it. We’ve become a nation of people who expect.  And really that doesn’t matter because as I was praying about this and think there is so much that can be done, and I’m a giver, I give and give because God gave me the gift of giving, and I’m thankful.  But there are things that I can do in addition to what I do already.  I just have to think about others instead of me!

It is the church’s job to feed the poor.  Jesus Himself said ‘Whatever you do for the least of these you do for me”.

When we go to RealChurch we stop at Starbucks.  Why?  Because we like it and we are spoiled!  But God really convicted me that $5-7 per day give it to Joy to the D.   There are 7 Sundays between now and Christmas, and even though I won’t be going there all 7 Sundays, I am going to donate my ‘coffee/tea’ money to presents ($50) in addition to what I was going to donate.  I hate when God says ‘really? What should THEY do?  What should YOU do?’  Well, I love it, but sometimes it’s hard.

The moment that we say ‘they should’ or ‘why don’t they?’ or ‘why doesn’t someone do something?’.  Remember this.  You are someone else’s someone else.  They are waiting for YOU. And think, you might inspire THEM.

God gave you a passion, whatever it is.  Speaking, kids, cooking, cleaning, making stuff, fixing cars… I don’t know.  But if you think ‘I can’t do it all on my own’, you won’t. God didn’t give you a passion to leave you.  He’s with you. I know that sometimes the cupboards may get a little thin, but I’m called to cook, so money shows up, or creativity to make a great meal.

One time, all I had was rice, broccoli, ham, and cream cheese to make a meal, but I really felt called to make a meal at the ‘old’ building.  So I went on put those ingredients in and someone told me that was the best meal I made!  LOL!  He doesn’t leave us.  He makes us His hands and feet and PROVIDES us with shoes and gloves.

Here’s some things you can help with (and I just know a few that are close to my heart) you can contact me about any or all of these:

Hopeworks – Bringing hope to Detroit
Joy to the D – Brings joy and Christmas to the peeps of Detroit and Hamtramck
7 for 7 – I think it feeds like 30 families for 30 days
Shoes for a mental hospital (they will take your gently used or new shoes) for their patients who don’t have any.
Grace Centers of Hope – they do Christmas big for their kids and peeps

There are many more!

Acts 20:35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.

 Matt 25:31-46
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
   34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
   37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
   40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
   41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
   44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
   45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
   46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”