It has now been seven years since I started this blog. How quickly time goes by! We are many members but we are one in the body of Christ. Therefore you do not journey alone! Hopefully through this site you will be encouraged by the fact that many things you are going through in your own walk, others are going through (or have gone through) as well. Sometimes we think we are "going through things alone." But we are not. God said that "He would Never Leave Nor Forsake Us." (Hebrews 13:5) and that "There is Nothing New Under The Sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9). No man is an island. It's easy to forget that. May the words in this blog help you to think, encourage you in whatever spiritual state you are in and may the Lord use them to help us to grow in Him! He is the Author and Finisher of our faith!

I don’t want any readers to think that I am “promoting” being a prodigal. I definitely am not. But what I am hoping to do – is to encourage those of us who either have had or are currently experiencing a hard time in our walk to be honest about it. Personal conviction is a powerful thing, especially if you truly love the Lord. I think that sometimes the Body of Christ critiques and judges to the point where the person who is at the other end of that pointing finger feels ostracized, alienated and alone. I don't think that that is what Jesus intended. When I read through my Bible - I see a firm yet gentle restoration that Jesus ministered to those around Him. Look at John 21:15-19. When Peter who was at an all time low point in his walk - he was firmly, yet lovingly restored by Jesus. He didn't tear him down, or yell or make him feel any worse then he already did. He spoke to him lovingly and gently - and in doing so, Peter was able to repent and minister in a much more powerful, humble and confident way and it became one of the largest ministries ever.

Please note that I am only a vessel, my calling - to write. I dedicate this blog to the Lord and ask that He use it to reach out and touch whoever needs a special, loving, personal touch from Him. My hope is that the Holy Spirit allows you to see Him through the words (and not me). We go through things so that we can extend our right hand of fellowship behind us to assist and help someone else. Our Bible is the same today, as it was yesterday as it will be tomorrow. (I am far from perfect and do not profess to have all the answers...) but the good news is - Our Heavenly Father does! His love, forgiveness, grace and mercy is real!Nothing you are experiencing in your walk comes as a surprise to Him! May He be glorified through this blog and may God bless you at whatever stage in your walk you are in!~

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor
I was diagnosed with early stage triple negative breast cancer on June 24th, 2010 - I have been cancer free for 7 years now. It was only a chapter in my life - NOT my life, but the impact is one that has changed my life forever. Its important for women to know that 80% of the breast cancer diagnosis come from women who don't have a history of it in their family (My family didn't). Early detection is the key. For more information please click on the pink ribbon above. It could save your life.


June 29, 2015

Oh How Those Tops DO Spin!

Round and Round They Go... Until They Come To a Complete Stop...
There is so much going on in the world right now, if you listen long enough it will make your eyes cross and your head spin like one of those tops we use to play with as kids!
Here is the thing…  And this is something that as an ex-prodigal I am constantly aware of – SIN IS SIN.  It doesn’t matter HOW you feel about it.  It doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree. God’s word IS His Word PERIOD.  We can argue it, we can disagree on it, we can deny it, we can go against it, we can make excuses for it, we can water it down to fit what we want it to say, we can take it out of context – but God’s Word STILL remains His Word REGARDLESS of how you view it.  I do not say this in a judgmental tone – believe ME I am EVER aware of my own sinful nature and faults and imperfections and areas where I miss the mark - I simply say it as one that is matter of fact.   I say it EVEN struggling myself in areas that I know God is not finished with me yet. I am *not* looking at the sty in your eye I'm too busy trying to remove the ever present plank in my own.  Deal with your OWN stye... But the thing is – I’m HONEST with God.  I talk to Him like I’m writing this to you and I tell Him what I’m struggling with.  There is no degree of sin.  Sin is Sin.  The Bible warns about adding or taking away from the Bible.  People who have an argument about this do NOT have an argument with me – they have an argument with GOD.  And quite frankly, that is like banging your head, it is not as if you can change God’s mind.

Now when I say that, I don’t say it because I believe the Bible is one that you should beat people over the head with – that is not love and that is certainly not the example that Jesus set.  It is one where you should acknowledge that God is sovereign.   He is.  I have NO respect for anyone who does not treat their fellow neighbor with love.  I *may* not agree with how you choose to live your life - you may not agree with how I choose to live mine - that's okay!  We CAN agree to that! Just because we don't see eye to eye on things does not mean that I cannot love you or associate with you or you, me.  That's ridiculous. We simply agree to disagree. I have many friends from ALL walks of life who I cherish, love and respect, who have chosen different journeys than I have. When people ask me, "are you pushing your life style on me? I simply say - live how ever you choose to live (as will I) maybe it is not ME who is choosing to push my lifestyle on YOU - maybe it is YOU who is trying to push YOUR lifestyle on me..." (The road goes both ways...)  I say that no matter what - walk in love.  Agree to disagree. It really doesn't matter what YOU think of Me - OR for that matter what I think of YOU.  I have always had a "moon the world" type of mentality - quite frankly, that hasn't changed.  In my view too many people hang too much emotion and effort on what others think of them.  "You can please some of the people some of the time... blah, blah, blah." - In the end the only thing that WILL matter is what God thinks of you (and of me). Because you will *not* be there holding my hand for support and help when at the end of my life I stand before Him and give an account... I'll be on my own giving an account of ME to Him (and by the way, whether or not you accept, or choose to recognize it - you will too, whether you want to or not).  The Bible says:

"To be absent from the body is to be present before the Lord."
(2nd Corinthians 5:6-8)

I certainly hope that my life will not be played out like a "movie reel" before Him because quite frankly there are moments about my life that I really don't care to see played over again (I'm sure to cringe at the stupidity of ME)... There are many things about ME that I am ever aware need changing, but the thing about life is we are ALL works in progress up until our last breathe. I confess those things to God and ask for His assistance for the things I need help changing.  This is where His grace and mercy come in.  The difference is - I am willing to humble myself and to admit it...
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.  As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." declares the LORD (Isaiah 55:8-9)

I think about how much God loves us – I think about how He is our Creator and how He created us with free will – to choose how we will live.  Love isn’t love if you *make* someone love you.  You either choose to obey and love Him – or you don’t.  He could have created us without giving us a choice, but He didn’t.
If you are honest with yourself, whatever your situation – there is a niggling part of you that is a quiet voice that people mistake as calling “your conscience”  what it is is the Holy Spirit prompting you.  It is not God’s will that ANY should perish.  Our choice remains our choice.  We make it on our own accord.  We either choose to obey God’s Word or we choose to go against it. 
When I became a Christian 28 years ago, I decided to read God’s Word FOR myself. I didn’t WANT anyone giving ME their opinion of what it said – I wanted to formulate an opinion on my own. Basically my conversation with God went like this:
“Okay Lord, I need You to help me understand what I’m reading.  If we are "supposed" to have a personal relationship, I need You to reveal Yourself to me so that I can personally KNOW that this is Your Word. I need you to give me understanding.”
Here is the thing reader – God KNOWS your heart. If you desire to TRULY know Him He WILL reveal Himself to you. The Bible says:

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”  (Revelations 3:20)

He desires you to have a relationship with Him.  The choice is yours…  My suggestion is to sit down and have a heart to heart conversation with Him.  And then watch and see what God does…  God is REAL. I know because I did and He has revealed Himself to me and we have developed a relationship.  I am hard headed, often obstinate, stubborn and slow at learning what I need to know.
One should research anything they believe in.  One should question it – one should not believe solely because someone else tells them to or to solely “take someone’s word for it. “  Find out for yourself.  Question God – ASK HIM, if your heart is genuine and you are asking out of really wanting to know – He will reveal Himself to you.  I know, He did it for ME.  God is no respecter of persons.  He desires you to come to know Him and learn about Him and find out about Him for yourself.  It will be the BEST decision you ever decided to make for yourself.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good…” (Psalm 34:8)



June 18, 2015

Video Sermons - Matthew 22 Verse 1 - Do You Get the Punchline- New Hope ...

Truth OR Dare?

You Pick - Truth... OR... Dare?
Truth or Dare?  Which will you pick?  Come on now, you remember playing this as a kid, if you didn’t – you missed out!  So which will it be? This isn’t the same version – but its one people have a hard time facing….

Truth – Okay, the truth is most people are uncomfortable taking a good long hard look at themselves.  Most people don’t want to “hear the truth” because it brings everything out into the bright florescent light, where every imperfection comes to light and cannot be hid.  When I think about this, I think isn’t it better to take a good hard look at yourself NOW because one day life will be over and you will be standing before God with your life shining before you, every single blank page of life that God had given to you each day shown with what you chose to write upon it.  I call it “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.”  I don’t know about you, but me – I’ve got some serious “ugly” written on some of the pages of my life that even I don’t like revisiting!  You know those moments that you want to hide your eyes from with your fingers? You grimace or squirm at the stupidity of you? Those “what was I thinking? How could I have been so asinine, was that REALLY ME????” moments.  I even want to run away from the words I am typing right now on this page.  Okay – it’s only fair, you are reading this so I’ll start…
As an ex-prodigal I have done some really stupid things. I have hurt people (and for those of you who are reading these words right now and part of that “hurt” I need to say it for the 100th time – I’m sorry!) by my actions.  More than hurting people, my actions hurt myself.  As I have previously stated throughout my blog, never say never.  Never look down your nose at someone else or presume that “it couldn’t possibly happen to you” because just when you stick that hoity-toity nose in the air, one that is looking judgmentally down at others because of “their situation” you just *may* find yourself wearing their same shoes and wondering as you’re wearing them how you allowed yourself to get into what you always thought would be for you “never-never land” in the first place.  OH YES – it happens!  And it could VERY WELL HAPPEN TO YOU!  I’ve had to eat humble pie and it is very similar to those childhood moments that I recall having to sit at the family dinner table and eat what my mother and father use to call a “no thank you helping.”  A no thank you helping consisted of two tablespoons of whatever type of food you disliked eating that was going to be part of dinner, and we had to eat it, whatever it was.  I could not get up from the table until that “no thank you helping” was GONE.  For me, it was peas or lima beans! Blech!  I dreaded when they were going to be part of dinner!  I remember thanking God for the gift of ketchup!  I would drown those suckers in ketchup hold my breathe keep my milk or drink close at hand and do what needed to be done!  Those two tablespoons of unwanted food seemed HUGE and it felt like forever getting it down, but I did because I knew I would not be allowed to get up from that table until they were gone!
Sometimes those “no thank you” moments in life are the ones we have piled on their ourselves…  And we end up having to eat them in order to move forward in our lives.
The more the days go by, the more I realize that perspective is everything… How you look at things… It colors EVERYTHING.  Lately, I have been trying to change my perspective of things from sometimes being negative to being one that is faith filled. Believe me when I say it makes a difference.  You can choose to become “bitter” or “better” from your experiences.  Me – I have decided to make an effort to become BETTER.
Allowing yourself to stand in the most revealing of light shows all your flaws.  Okay, we ALL have them.  We are a “work  in progress” if we recognize that about ourselves maybe we can be a little less critical of our own selves.  I believe that as long as we have breath in our bodies we are growing, transforming and learning, hopefully maturing in Christ as we become what He has called us to be. 
Truth is – the things we worry about are the things that we really should put before the altar of God at the cross of Jesus.  There are certain things that we were not *made* to carry, yet we do.  I have to remind myself of this every day that GOD IS IN CONTROL.  I AM NOT.
As a cancer survivor, even one that God has healed, there are times when overwhelming fear comes over me. It can be a paralyzing fear, and when it happens I have to pray and remember that I BELONG TO GOD.  My life is *not* my own.  My days and the number of them belong to HIM.  There is a peace in that, but as someone who is a planner and who is human – I sometimes forget that God is in PERFECT control.  I, on the other hand – am not.  This is where perspective comes in.  This is where faith comes in.  This is where submission comes in.  This is where trust comes in.  The truth is – this is something that I constantly battle and have to work on EVERY day.  I am NOT in control – but GOD is.  (And by the way, have you ever noticed that the things you worry about are seldom the things that happen???  How much time we waste worrying!)
Truth is – that God wants us to be aware of the things we need changing within us and recognize that there are sometimes things that we CANNOT change ourselves, but need Him to help us. It is times such as these when I pray, “Lord, if there be ANY evil within me – anything that is displeasing to YOU please change it.  Please help me to turn it over to you to change” and then be amendable to those changes.  Do you remember physical growth pains when you were a kid? (I do!)  When your knees ached or your legs ached? Or your chest ached because your body was growing and changing? Spiritual growth has its aches and pains too.
One last truth for you to chew upon as you consider putting yourself in your own fluorescent spotlight and examining your own self.  Keep in mind that you have an enemy who doesn’t want you to grow in Christ.  Who doesn’t want you to take a long good hard look at yourself and work on those things within you that need changing.  He will whisper in your ear all kinds of accusations or make you feel as though you need to just throw up your hands in surrender because you JUST can’t change.  Or he will make you deny or not want to face those things that need changing which will in turn stunt your spiritual growth. Allowing him to have the victory over your mind and not face the truth of YOU will keep you in a stagnant pool that God did not mean your life to remain in.  DON’T LISTEN TO HIM and DON’T ALLOW HIM TO KEEP YOU THERE.  REBUKE IT.  He is a liar!  He wants your perception to be negative; he wants you to feel defeated.  He wants you “to settle for less.”  Make up your mind to go forward – God did not intend you to live a life of mediocracy.
Come to think of it – maybe that is not only a truth, but a dare… So let me put it this way – I DARE YOU.  I DARE YOU to take a hard, truthful look at yourself.  I DARE you to stand in that light and face “the good, the bad and the ugly” and to then give what you see to God.  Have a good ol’ fashion discussion with Him about what you see about YOU.  After all, HE created YOU.  He knows EVERY hair on your head.  Discuss it with Him, have a real heart to heart – and then, trust Him to help you through it.  Because the truth is – He wants to, He’s able and as long as you are willing – He will.