Hello!~~~

Welcome!~

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.

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November 20, 2016

He's REALLY Real! Really He is....

We live in a time where we are hard pressed on ALL sides. I have been thinking a lot about the Israelites during the time they were under such oppression and slavery under the rule of pharaoh. When we read our Bible it is easy to forget that everything happened over a period of time, change did not happen overnight. Imagine what it must have been like for them, God's chosen ones to have to wake up every morning under the rule of a slave master and get through their day.  No doubt it was going through their minds, "Where is our God?  Does He hear us? Does He see us? Does He care???"  They were beaten and worked and hard pressed - these chosen people of God.  Yet STILL they held fast to their faith.  Still they kept their faith and continued to wait for the Messiah.  Still they waited...

In my eyes things have not changed much... Centuries later, we are hard pressed on EVERY side.  We are waiting for our Jesus to return.  We live in a society that does not acknowledge Him as King and Savior.  Many of us struggle and are weighed down by the burdens of this life.  The days sometimes feel so dark and we wonder if the God that we have read in our Bible still hears our cries.  Still cares.... And we wonder if He does, WHY does He care?  We are a "stiff necked people," we have denied Him from so many aspects of our lives. We have insulted Him, ridiculed Him, mocked Him - WHY would He care for us???

But He does...
He loves us still. 

Personally, I don't understand why... We don't deserve His love.  We don't deserve His blessing, we continuously willfully go against His Word (when we find the time to read it).  Often we forget that the Bible is a true record of history - not a book like Grimms Fairy Tales.  We don't pay attention to the direction or learn from the past experiences.  We continue on sinning in the same manner that "they did in the days of old."  Yet STILL God allows His grace and His mercy to pour down on us - a thankless, heartless, selfish people. (And oh yes, I include myself in that number)...  And we are unappreciative of ALL the blessings He pours down upon us, including the fact that He wakes us up each morning for a brand new day to try again.  We are NOT promised tomorrow - yet we act like He owes it to us.  He owes us NOTHING.  We owe Him EVERYTHING. We blame Him or all the mishaps in our lives - when most of the problems we have we have created for ourselves, yet we point our finger at Him.

He warned Adam and Eve in the Garden.  He told them what the consequence would be.  Yet still they chose to disobey.  We can't point our fingers at Adam and Eve because we do the same exact thing.  Yet still God loved us enough to come down from Heaven, manifest Himself in the form of Man by being born of the virgin, Mary.  He chose to die He chose to send His Son, Jesus to die on the cross for the forgiveness of  our sins - and even having given that sacrifice we either choose to reject that gift or to not realize the full sacrifice that was made by Jesus on our behalf.

Yet still God loves us...
Still His grace pours down upon us.

For those of us who have made Him our Lord and Savior, it hasn't meant that life has become easier - it has meant that we have meaning for our lives.  If we study His Word and learn His promises, we take comfort in the fact that we are not alone.  That He is with us.  In reading and studying His Word the Holy Spirit helps us during the difficult times bring to remembrance the promises and words of encouragement that Jesus has given us through the New Testament. 

Yet still there are times when we wonder if our God - who says in His Word:

 "Is the same Yesterday, today and Tomorrow." (Hebrews 13:8)

If He still hears us.  There are times when the worries and cares and the darkness of this world makes us question if God has given up on us.  If He still cares.  Ol' Slewfoot whispers in our ears, "He doesn't care about you anymore.  He's given up on humanity, He's given up on you... He doesn't hear your prayers.  He's disgusted by you and all that is going on in the word.  YOUR God is dead."

And there are times when we feel so defeated, we start to believe that God HAS given up on us.  We start to feel so hard pressed and discouraged by what we are going through or seeing occur around us - that we start to wonder if God cares anymore.  We forget that we are told in the Bible not to be led by our feelings or our circumstances.  We are to :

"Walk by faith not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7)

We are to:

"Trust in the Lord with ALL our hearts, lean not to our own understanding.  In ALL our ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our path." (Proverbs 3:5)

But you see, if we are hard pressed on all sides, if we are beset by problems, if we don't take the time to hide God's Word in our hearts and believe it to be true.  If we don't hold fast to what the Word of God tells us - than we can't walk by faith.  We won't be encouraged.  We WILL believe the lies of the devil.

Yet still Our God reaches out to us and shows us, by meeting us where we are at - that He IS here.  That He IS an "Ever present help in times of trouble." (Psalm 46:1).

There are times when we are going through such a dark moment that we lose focus off of Him, as Peter did as told in the book of Matthew, Chapter 14.  And we start to sink in our circumstances and we start to doubt, lose faith.  Then when we think we just can't go on any longer, or that God doesn't care or that we are sinking and there is NO hope.  He does something that shows that it is ONLY Him.  He rescues us.  He reaches His hand down to us and pulls us out of our situation and we realize once again, that God IS REAL.  That He is very much in control, that nothing catches Him by surprise.  That He is BIGGER than any of our circumstances.  That He cares and He sees us and He loves us and He works ALL things according to His purpose.  He IS God.

Maybe He allows us to go through those dark uncertain times to see if we will still trust Him. Maybe He wants to see if we recognize that we cannot get through this thing called "life" without Him.  We were not created to be without God.  There is something deep inside each one of us that cries out to Him, "We NEED you!!!"  The only thing is that the enemy has blinded the eyes of people and it is only when those scales are removed that we realize that there is NOTHING that can take the place of God in our lives.  Many try to fill that need with other sources (sex, drugs, alcohol, worldly possessions, etc.) but it is something deep within our souls that can only be filled by God and it is only when that need is recognized for what it is - the need FOR God that we can experience that "peace that passes ALL understanding." (Philippians 4:7).

We were created with a need for God, but because we have such a loving Father, He chose to give us free will - to choose Him or to not.  The choice has always been ours.  He IS real.  He is HERE.  He loves YOU.  He cares.   There is NO greater joy than knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and its not something anyone can fully describe unless you experience His personal love for yourself.

It doesn't mean that life will be easier - it means that He will BE there.
It doesn't mean that you won't have any worries or cares - it means He will walk you through them.

I am not living this life for what God gives me (although I continuously pray for blessings and bring to His attention through prayer the desires of my heart because I have learned that He wants me to share my desires and thoughts with Him).  We are in a "personal" relationship, which means He wants me to communicate with Him, even though the Bible tells me:

 "He knows my thoughts before I even think them." (Psalm 139:2). 

But when you are in a relationship with someone they want you to share what is on your mind.  I really think God likes it when we converse with Him (and that is what prayer IS a conversation with God).

I am in a relationship with Him NOT for what He does for me, but for what He did for me. 
"God showed His love for us:  He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love - not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." (John 4:9-10).

He REALLY is real.... We just have to believe and trust Him.  No matter what life throws our way... Because when this life is over.  We WILL see that the Bible WAS true and for those of us who chose to believe it - we will spend an eternity with a God who has loves us since the beginning of time.

November 10, 2016

How About That Noah?!



What a day we live in!  I have been thinking of late how we forget that the Bible was written to be a guidebook for us, to help us, to encourage us to teach us, yet often it is the last place we look for wisdom and for strength.  I think back to when I first became a Christian at the age of 21, not having grown up in a Christian family, once I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and was introduced to the Bible, the words would jump off the pages and I would be so into what I was reading there would be nights when my head would fall asleep with my face right in the Bible!  Twenty-nine years later I am chagrined at thinking how it has become difficult to find the time to read the Word of God and how, especially at this time in history it is the answer to so many of the questions we have because it is very much the LIVING Word of God and as the Bible says:

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:17)

Also it is spiritual food for us and I have found myself discouraged, depressed, depleted and anxious when I don't take time to read it.  It is spiritual food for our soul.  It was written for a purpose and the purpose was for us to grow in our relationship with Him.

The fascinating thing I have found is how as I have grown in my walk with the Lord what I have read has been stored within my heart.  Reading the Word of God helps us to hide his Word in our heart and often time we don't even know that is occurring until a scripture just jumps out in our minds! I get tickled by this because it is the Holy Spirit bringing forward a word of encouragement to my remembrance when I am praying for answers.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not to your own understanding, in ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path."  (Proverbs 3:5).

The Bible is also a map for us.  I was thinking this week about the days of Noah, how often we forget that that is a TRUE story, one that can be applied to our lives today.  As I have thought about the world today and how many do not choose to follow God's Word or believe it I think about examples of such times as are written in the Bible.  The people in Noah's time thought he was insane.  Building a boat when there wasn't any rain.  They laughed at him.  They mocked him, they made fun of him, they went on living, working, marrying, carrying on with their lives (such as we do today) not heeding God's warning or Noah's words.  Then the day of rains came.  Can you imagine the shock and horror of the people when they realized that all along what Noah had been doing was right?  It was too late!  The world hasn't changed.  The Bible talks about the days to come, yet still we go through life not believing, not giving it much thought that what God's Word says will come to pass.  Just as in the days of Noah.  Just as in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. 

Even as a Christian I can see my own faults, weaknesses and sins before me.  It is so easy to get discouraged - especially during the times when God feels so far away.  Ol' Slewfoot and his dominions would have us really believe that God IS dead.  That He is not concerned with us, our needs or our lives.  He would have us doubt God's promises and turn away. He would have us be discouraged or disheartened.  But the TRUTH of the matter is that God LOVES us.  That He is NOT dead.  That He is very much alive.  That He CARES.  We live in a day and age where people are looking those of us who are Christians and struggling and they mock us and laugh at us and wonder WHY we would serve a God who clearly makes us suffer.  And sometimes, as a cancer survivor who is struggling to make ends meet for my family - I DO question God.  I ask Him WHY.  When it seems like what is such a big problem for us is a little "ant hill" to Him.  WHY doesn't He just alleviate the difficulty I have. WHY do I go through the things I go through when I have a Father who could just snap His fingers and take away my burdens like He was flicking a piece of lint off His shoulder and honestly there are times when I rage and I cry before Him and I ask Him, "Lord HOW do you receive the glory in my being burdened by A,B,C??? Why won't you help ME??? Your Word says, "If I being evil give good gifts to my children how much more so will you help ME?" (Matthew 7:11)  There are times when I cry out to Him, "Abba Father!!!!" And He seems quiet.  He seems distant and far away.  That is when the scripture promise I cling to:

"I will never leave nor forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31:6)

And I have to remind myself that regardless of whether or not I understand what I am going through.  The Bible also tells me:

"The steps of the righteous are ordained by God." (Psalms 37:23)

Remembering that my righteousness is NOT my own - that I have been made righteous by the blood of Jesus Christ - who loved me enough to die on the cross for forgiveness of my sins.

I know without a doubt within my soul - that also as the Bible says: 

 "He is the way, the truth and the life.  The ONLY way to Heaven." (John 14:6)

He is: 

"The peace that passes ALL understanding."(Philippians 4:7)

You see?  In reading His Word, I have hidden such scriptures in my heart.  The faith part comes with BELIEVING them.  STANDING on them.  Holding FAST to them.  Not to go by my feelings - but to know that my Heavenly Father cares.  He's There.  The Word also tells me:

"He is an ever present help in times of trouble." (Psalm 46:1)

He is:

"The lifter of my head." (Psalms 3:3)

I can trust Him.  He knows what He is doing.  Jesus even said:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28)

We are living in a time where we have to choose who we are going to believe.  satan or God.  We have to decide who's voice we are going to listen to.  It is NOT easy.  It is so easy to feel as though God is far away - especially when we look around at ALL the things that are going on in the world.  There is NO common sense anymore.  There is NO common courtesy.  Even Christians are not living and walking in the manner that God intended them to walk.  The Bride is NOT ready.  We have become wordly - and we need to ask God to forgive us and to help us be ALL that He intended us to be. 

The Bible talks about the days to come.  The last days. 

"People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--having a form of godliness but denying its power." (2nd Timothy 3:2 - 3:5)

It is SPELLED OUT right on the pages of the Word of God.  So WHY does it come as such a shock to us when we hear about it in the news, when we see it happening right before our eyes?  When we find OURSELVES acting in a manner that does not glorify God? 

When I look on my life over the last 29 years of being a Christian.  My answer to those who see me struggle as a cancer survivor, a divorced woman raising two of her three children on her own.  My answer is - don't look at ME.  Look at HIM.   I am not IN this life because of what God can do for me - although daily I hope He will help me with the burdens I carry and the things I go through in life.  But the fact of the matter is I love Him and have become a Christian not for what he can DO for me, but for what He has DONE for me.  He died on the cross for forgiveness of my sins.  He made a way for me to be able to enter into a relationship with God the Father because of His obedience.  He made a way through His shed blood for me to be able to go to Heaven when I die.  NOT because of anything I have done but because of WHAT HE has done.  I am in it because I love Him.  I am in it because I trust Him - even when I rage and have temper tantrums.  I am in it because I know that His Word (regardless of how in frequently I have taken time to read it myself of late) is TRUE and the Words written in God's book - The BIBLE WILL come to pass regardless of those who think is nonsense.  Just as in the examples He has allowed those God inspired men He used to write it, write it for us to read.  He wrote it as a love story for us - so that we would be encouraged.  So that we would SEE how MUCH God love us.  The choice (which he also gave us - free choice) is OURS.

As you look out at the world and the things that are occurring around you - what will YOU choose to believe?  Where is your hope? How do YOU go forward in life in a world that often times seems as though it is growing darker and darker.  (It is...) But if you read the same Word that I read - you will be encouraged to know that Jesus said:

"He is the Way, The Truth and the Life." John 14:6)

  We only need to walk in it... I'm going to continue trying - how about you?







November 7, 2016

All YOU Need


"Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, lean not to your own understanding.  In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your steps." (Proverbs 3:5)
There is not one thing that this ex-prodigal is more certain about – except this… I NEED the Lord.  I need Him.  More than any other person, more than any materialistic item.  I NEED the Lord in my life.  If someone was to ask me what a life is like without Jesus – I would answer that it’s like a corpse.  The spirit of a person brings animation and life into a body, without the spirit a body is just a shell.
Without the Lord – I am lost.  Jesus said He would never leave nor forsake us.  But I believe that sometimes He sits waaaaaay in the back ground watching us to see what we would do without Him.  Do you know what I do?  I panic.  I feel like I can’t breath. like I can’t think.  No matter what my spiritual state is – prodigal, ex-prodigal etc. there is one thing I know.  I CANNOT get through life without the Lord.

Without Him I am a mere shell.
It’s the scariest thing in the world when you feel as though you are all alone.  Where pain feels your body and you feel like you just can’t go on.  I believe that people who experience this feeling are the ones that commit suicide, because the pain is just too much.  You want it gone.

Jesus is my peace.  He is the Way, He is the Truth and He is the life and I can honestly say that there is no one I love more than Him.  I CANNOT live without Him.  He is my ever present help in time of trouble.  He is the lifter of my head.  He is my Lord and He is my Savior.  He LOVES me unconditionally.

I think of John, when He was walking on water towards the Lord.  His steps were filled with confidence and not doubt.  He knew WHO he was walking towards and he believed He could do it.
It wasn’t until doubt and uncertainty and perhaps even worry or the words of this world filled his head that he slowly began to sink.  This is what the world does to us – unless we have our eyes focused on Jesus, we sink.  This weekend I sunk all the way to my nostrils where I could feel the water filling my nose and the burning sensation that comes with it.  I panicked. I thrashed.  I wanted to give up. I lost focus.

LISTEN – people will disappoint you all the time.  But our focus is not supposed to be ON people.  We are not living for THEM.  We are living for HIM.  I woke up this morning and realized I needed to anoint myself.  I needed to rebuke ALL those things that were moving me towards death.  Towards giving up.  Usually when we feel this way it is because God has a great plan for our lives and ol’ slewfoot steps in and tries to distract us – tries to make us take our eyes off of God and put it on our situation.  GOD IS BIGGER THAN ANY OF OUR PROBLEMS.  There is NOTHING that God can’t do.  We forget that sometimes.  All we need to do is call on Him.  Even if it is the ONLY thing you can say, cry out “JESUS I LOVE YOU!!!! JESUS I NEED YOU!!!! JESUS DON’T LEAVE ME!!! Save me Lord! Help me!”  And He will.  He is an EVER present help in time of trouble.
We need to keep our eyes on Him… We were not called to do things on our own.  We were not made that way.  We need Him – now more than ever before.

“Father God, I need you. Forgive me my sins; wash me with the blood of Jesus.  Don’t ever leave me.  Where I am weak – make me strong.  Where I am strong – keep me strong.  Hold me tight.  Without you I am nothing but a shell.  I don’t want to live in a Godless world without you by my side.  Please never let me go. Restore what the cankerworm has destroyed and help me not to walk in fear or doubt. But to trust that You have got me and that my life belongs to you.  In Jesus precious name I pray.  AMEN”

October 6, 2016

Mirror, Mirror - What do YOU see????



How do YOU view yourself?
There is something that has been really pressed on my heart – which means I need to write about – so here I go… To my Survivor Brethren (actually to everyone)... 

I find myself  wanting to throw up in my mouth a little over the guys who are looking for “Malibu Barbie.”  Don’t go for the guy (or girl for that matter) who is looking for “Malibu Barbie” or the “guy with the six pack” – that guy/girl is not worthy your love.  He is shallow and vain and unrealistic and probably doesn’t even look at himself in the mirror.  Chances are he looks like “Al Bundy” (If you don’t know who that is – Google him).  Feel sorry for him, because he is pathetic and shallow and full of himself.  Those are the type of guys (forgive my straightforwardness, but I NEVER sugarcoat and this is true) who when they have sex yell their own name out.  You don’t want a man like that. Go for the guy who sees the true beauty in you. Who will look at you and feel as though the whole REST of the world fades away. Who will make YOU feel that way.

I say this especially to survivors of cancer.  I only have a small scar from
my lumpectomy, but still my body is far from perfect – yet here is the thing I have learned and it has made ALL the difference…. Sexiness is not a look, it is not a style it is not a weight – it is an attitude.  It is in the way you view yourself, it is in the way you carry yourself.  It is in knowing your own self-worth.  Sexiness is an attitude one wears well.  It is not conceit (that is ugly) – it is a knowledge of your own self-worth.
It is in the way you love others, the way you touch someone, the way you live and think.  People mistake sexiness for a type of look.  They are WRONG.  For a woman, it is all about BEING a woman.  Making a man feel like a man… Going after you want (and not stepping on toes or hearts to do it).  Living life FULLY and believing in yourself; using your gifts to build others up and not tear them down.

Some of my Pink sisters have undergone mastectomies and some of you other types of cancer survivors have other types of physical scars that have been done because of a surgery that SAVED YOUR LIFE.  Don’t feel less because of it!  Someone who loves you, TRULY loves you will love you fiercely because YOU ARE STILL ALIVE.  Because YOU ARE STILL HERE.  Because YOU ARE (or have been) through a physical war!  You are a fighter!  You are a survivor!  You are BEAUTIFUL because YOU didn’t give up!  You are the BEST KIND OF BEAUTIFUL!!!!

Be with someone who will see your scars and still see the beauty of YOU.  You were in a war – a war you WON.  They are battle scars.  They have become part of who you are.

When you truly love someone it is their inner beauty that shines through their physical imperfections becomes the things that make them irresistible to you, the things you love most about them, the thing that differentiates them from all the rest.  That mole, that scar, that gap between their teeth, that big butt or those love handles.  When you love someone, you love all of them whatever it is that makes them unique, and ohhh how those things that they consider faults or imperfections become lovable and endearing.

Love is in the eye of the beholder, it is not a “cookie cutter” type thing.  If someone can’t love you like that – they are not worthy of your love, they don’t see that the real you is what is on the inside.  Looks fade, people get old – what lasts is the beauty of YOU.  Your spirit, your soul.  Have you ever seen an elderly couple and the way the man looks at his wife as though she were the most beautiful thing God ever created?
That’s the kind of love worth holding out for, that’s the love that will last.

If someone can’t love you as you are and encourage you to do whatever you need to do to feel good about yourself, than they are not worth your effort, time or love.

If someone doesn’t see your inner beauty but wants physical perfection – drop them like a hot potato, they are not worthy of you or your love and the truth of the matter is they will never find what they are looking for – there is no perfect person out there, there is always going to be someone more outwardly attractive, and the truth is you should be with someone who desires you, loves you, wants you, needs you, feels their most beautiful when they are walking besides you.  Only has eyes for you.  That’s a love worth holding out.

September 25, 2016

Sincerely Yours - Are You For Real?



When my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.
(Psalm 61:2)
Sometimes I write what others are afraid to admit or say...  You can agree to disagree with me, still in my transparent, raw, ex-prodigal, honest fashion - I say what I mean and mean what I say all the while trying not to say it mean... Still it has to be said...

I simply abhor and will continue to pray for/about:

Christians who show a pseudo-fake love who condescendingly, ungenuinely, judgmentally look down their noses at you, pat you on the back, purse their lips together and say, "I'm praying for you." When actually if you could see a little cartoon bubble above their head which would translate what they are really thinking it would show that what they are doing is judging you and relishing what situations you are going through so they can "feel better" about themselves or where they are in their own walk (i.e. looking past the plank in their own eye while trying to remove the sty from yours...) There is a difference between genuine Christ-like compassion and the "well bless your heart" (cartoon bubble translation: "what-I-really-mean-is-I-think-you-are-a-stupid-ass-but-I'm-not-going-to-come-straight-out-and-say-it")  non-Christ-like love mentality. The church has become a social club similar to that of a "yacht club," it has become a popularity contest where you are part of the "in crowd" or you're not and if you are not, you get ostracized... I don't believe that is how God intended the church to be. It does not glorify Him or represent how the body of Christ is suppose to be...and the Bible says:

 "A house divided against itself cannot stand." (Mark 3:25)

When I say I'm praying for you, I mean I'm crying out to the Lord alongside you, squeezing your hand, feeling your pain as if it was my own, walking along side you, you can depend on me to BE there for you. I'm not giving you some "pat" answer. Those are the type of Christians God meant the church to be. Those are the people I want in my inner circle - the ones that even in their imperfect mess will REALLY be there for each other, down and dirty - realizing that it is ONLY the blood of Jesus that makes us righteous. HIS grace, HIS forgiveness, HIS love. Not a social organization that professes to be for Christ but does not love in the manner Christ showed love even to the point of dying for us.

I believe the reason why Christ has not returned yet is because His bride is NOT ready. Shame on us!!! (Help us Lord - we call ourselves Christians but the definition of  "Christian" is to be "Christ-like" and MANY of us fail You and do You a disservice by the way we treat others, the way we live, the things we say and do are NOT a true representation of how You would have us be - and before anyone goes thumbing their nose at me, I include myself amongst the many) forgive me Lord, help me to honor You and not cause You shame...

1 Corinthians 12:12 says: "Even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ."

And continues in 1 Corinthians 12:14-24 to say:

"For the body does not consist of only one part, but of many members. If the foot says, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. But now there are many members but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. So that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other."

Now here is the part where the church is lacking:

1 Corinthians 12:26
"If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ's body, and each of you is a part of it."


An example would be - If you stub your toe, does not your whole body feel the pain? Such is how it should be with the whole Body of Christ. But with the majority of members, its not.  The scriptures in  1 Timothy 3:2-5 indicate:

"People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power."

If you look around and are honest, you will see that we live in a time such as this and it affects BOTH Christians as well as those that are not.  We are not to be as such. We need to pray for the church to TRULY be like the church described in the book of Acts where all the needs were met within the body because everyone used their gifts to help one another.  We need to be a church that stands out amongst the world and makes a difference - first within its own doors and then within the community and world.  We need to be a PRAYING church, not forsaking the importance of prayer  Because when you really think about it - the church is WHO WE ARE *not* where we go.  We need to remember that Jesus is to be our example and constantly allow Him to renew our minds and to look at how and what Jesus did to draw people unto God.  We need to pray in these last days for a bride that Christ will be glad to come receive.
 



August 18, 2016

How's Your Oil Holding Out?


I thought I had been prepared… I had anticipated this day for as long as I could remember.  What could I have done with it?  Where could I have put it?  HOW could I have forgotten it????
There were ten of us, you see… When we heard He was arriving, that the wedding banquet was prepared.  Oh if you could only know how fast my heart was beating in my chest.  I had waited for this day…  Some days had been easier than others.  The years had flown by and there were times in my life where I lost faith.  Where I had thought He had forsaken me.  There were times when I was grateful for God’s grace that He had not yet arrived.

You see, patience is not one of my strong suits.  There were days that I cried out to Him, begging him to HURRY up and come!  Days where I raged at the fact He was not here already.
Where was He? Why wasn’t He here already?  How much more evil could these days get?  And then there were days when I was disappointed with myself.  Where I knew that it was clearly His grace, forgiveness and love that kept Him from coming. There were days where I was actually part of the problem… (And more then likely part of the reason for His graceful delay...)

Now He was coming and we were on route.  Where had I placed my oil for my lamp?  In my rush to get out the door had I forgotten it?  In my absent minded mind was He arriving on a day where my faith had grown as dim as the lamp before me?  Now my heart filled with trepidation.
Oh the horror of the thought that I had waited so diligently and with joy anticipating His arrival, was all that to be tossed away because He was arriving on a day where my faith was weak?  Where I felt as though the Holy Spirit had left me?  A day where my eyes had been removed from Him and on to my circumstances?  Oh woe is me!

“May I have some of your oil?” I asked tapping the back shoulder of the virgin ahead of me. 
She turned her head and threw me a look of genuine pity and shook her head.  “If I give you some of mine, I may not have enough, I can’t risk that – I’m sorry…”  She proceeded to quicken her steps anxious to get to Him.

My shoulders slumped, I tried to think back to where I had placed it, but the worries of the world, worries of my life had crowded in and I had been consumed with them instead of walking in faith and believing that He would supply all my needs.  Fear, worry, anxiety, depression had all taken up residence in my heart and had made me lose my faith, my trust in He who is greater than any concern.  I had placed importance over that which was most important above all things.  I had allowed the things of the world to overtake me; consume me and turn my head to that which I had been warned not to. I was in a place I never expected to be.  He had warned me over and over again to be prepared.


The fault was mine.  My faith had faltered and I had allowed myself to be weighed down with the cares of this world. 

We can’t allow ourselves to be “that girl or “that guy” – I have written from my heart because I have felt like her, honestly - more recently than not.  I thank God for his mercy and His grace.  Sometimes it is easy to fall in the “People-Around-the-time-of-Noah” mentality that Jesus isn’t coming back.  But He’s prolonging His return BECAUSE of His grace.

“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matthew 24:22)

It is so easy for us to become desensitized.  I have felt that way myself.  This world grows with its problems and demands and there are days when I myself am wondering HOW to get through them.  But we need to keep our eyes focused on the Lord – like Peter did when he was walking on water.  It was when Peter took his eyes off of him that he began to sink.
Are you sinking????  Cry out to God for help.  Ol’ Slewfoot would have you believe that God is not listening, that you are not important enough for Him to hear your cries.  That is a LIE from the pit of hell!

“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
It is so very easy to allow the oil of our faith to dry up.  To stop believing, to become discouraged or distracted or bitter or envious or jealous of others – all those feelings are *not* of God.  Cry out to Him.  Talk to Him, Pray to Him.

 Jesus said:
"My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:2-3)
And also:
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31:6)
We need to not leave nor forsake Him as well... And if we do - the very first step is being honest with your feelings and talk to Your Father who cares so much about you how you feel. He will revitalized your oil and make it flow like a running river.

Thank GOD for His grace, His mercy and His love.  Our Lord is coming we MUST be ready.  Help us Father. Forgive us!  Guide us that ALL of us may enter the Wedding Feast and not let one of us be shut out.

In Jesus name I pray…

AMEN 

 

July 26, 2016

He Knows Your Heart... Trust Him, Believe...


More and more I realize that I don’t have all of the answers.  In fact, I don’t have MOST of the answers.  But there is one thing I do know – GOD DOES.  I think He purposely created us that way – we NEED Him.  That is the realization that it takes so many of us years to figure out.  It even takes some a life time.  The truth of the matter is – our lives are but breathes (or as the Bible says - mist) as it tells us in the Book of James 4:14.
Think about how quickly time goes by and how astonished we all are by it.  We are only here for a short while.  We choose what we do with that “short while.”  What are you doing?  What do you want to do?

You have a purpose – even if you don’t know what that purpose is.  ASK HIM.  PRAY.  God doesn’t want to hide it from you, He wants you to discover what that purpose is.  And I can tell you the one thing I DO know.  There is no greater joy than knowing what it is God has called you to do.  You have specific gifts that God gave you when He created you.  Can you imagine how excited He was when He formed you, put you together and gave you gifts that would satisfy that God given hunger deep inside of you and glorify His name at the same time???  What a proud Parent I’ll bet He was after He created you.  He probably stood back with such joy and pride.  You are quite a well put together accomplishment!
I think the hardest thing is finding the time in this busy, crazy, backwards world to DO what it is God calls you to do. 

“To much is given, much is required.” (Luke 12:48)
With our knowledge of what He has called us to do, comes the responsibility to do it.  And that isn’t always easy…

I write – and it’s been a while since I last wrote, because there is a time when my mind goes blank and I honestly have to wait on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to continue on with my calling.  Then of course if I were to be totally transparent and honest (which I am) I would also admit that sometimes the biggest question in my mind for God (especially in this day and age) is: “Why?”

He doesn’t always reveal the full picture to us – which is difficult! Sometimes my spiritual life feels like the game, “Red Light, Green Light.”  God wants us to step out on faith and for me, because I’ve made mistakes in my life, that can be a really scary thing and I become like a deer in headlights.
Afraid to go forward, afraid to stay where I am, afraid to miss the mark, afraid to go ahead – but then I remember that the Bible tells me:

“God did not give us a Spirit of fear.  He has given unto us, a Spirit of love, a Spirit of power and a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
We have to step out on faith.  Trust God.  It sounds like it should be so easy, and often times we make it more difficult than it is.

I think the most important thing to remember is that no matter what you are feeling, God looks at the heart.  There are times when we can’t find the words to say – but the Bible tells us that God knows our thoughts before we even think them.  For me, when I can’t find the words to say – this is of great comfort.
“God, we need You… We don’t want to guess at Your will – we want to walk in it.  Forgive us when we miss the mark.  Forgive us when we jump ahead of  You.  Forgive us when we walk according to the flesh and not the Spirit.  Please Father – direct our paths.  Help us to trust You and to remember to come to Your throne not only with our requests or things that are on our hearts – but with thanksgiving and praise.  We often get caught up with worries or distractions or concerns and forget to praise You and count our blessings for the things You continue to bless us with.  We love You Lord.  Thank You for Your grace, Your mercy, Your forgiveness and Your love.  Thank You for making a way through the shed blood of Your Son, Our Savior, Jesus Christ  for us to come before You in prayer.  Thank You for caring about the things that matter to us.  Thank You for making a way where there seems to be no way.  Thank You for Your saving grace.  We exalt Your Holy Name and rejoice in You.  We love You Father.  Please be glorified in our lives.  In Jesus Precious name, I pray… Amen.”

June 6, 2016

It is Okay if it is NOT Well With Your Soul... God's Got You...


Don't be ashamed if you don't feel as though "it is well with your soul" You don't have to hide how you feel to God.  The Bible tells us in "He knows your thoughts before you even think them." (Psalms 139:4) So share those thoughts with Him because He also tells us, "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

I have been hesitating whether or not to share this because it is so personal, but in true “me” fashion I have to be as I’ve always been through my post-cancer walk - transparent and honest because I feel as though I want other Pinks to know it is okay to feel this way in case there is a Pink Sister who feels she is alone.  Since cancer, I have gone through bouts of depression and anxiety.  Working within a mental health community,  I can tell you that I have learned this is a normal reaction to post-cancer life.  It is nothing to be ashamed of.  If you are a cancer survivor and find that you are experiencing the same – don’t be ashamed or feel embarrassed or less of a person for it.  You are (or have) experienced a life threatening disease.  Each person’s cancer/post-cancer story differs – but each one’s ramifications radiate throughout one’s post cancer life.  YES we are blessed because we have been given a second chance at life, but depending upon what has occurred during your experience – please know that it is okay if you experience bouts of depression and anxiety of what changes have occurred because of your illness.  There are a high percentage of pinks (as in the case of myself) who’s marriages did not survive cancer.  Even those that are married and have had spouses that have stuck by them experience highs and lows in their relationship because of what has occurred. Cancer puts strains on relationships, unintentionally, but it is part of what happens. Studies have shown that cancer survivors DO go through a PTSD following cancer and certain things can trigger off the remembrance of that experience.  For me it is Jolly Ranchers – which I will never eat again, because Dana-Farber kept a big bowl of them for those of us to partake from during chemotherapy because it was supposed to take away the nasty taste that chemo gives off to your taste buds while you are going through treatment.  I also cannot stand the smell of lavender (I identify it with chemo) because I was told to sleep with a lavender pillow for relaxation following chemo treatments.

So if this is something you experience too – there is no reason for you to be ashamed.  The shame is when more survivors choose to hide these feelings and not share them with others to know they are not alone.  I have felt ashamed of those feelings because I am also a Christian, but even in finding comfort in my faith – it has not changed the things that have occurred in my life or the struggles I have had since my diagnosis. If you love someone who experiences bouts of depression or anxiety – the best way you can help them is to reassure them that you are there, that you are with them and will support and be with them through whatever they need, if you are married or in a relationship – hug, cuddle or hold your spouse/significant other so that they can feel you and know that they are not alone.  Cancer is something that happens to someone – it is not who they become, but it happens to THEM.  Even if you go through a cancer experience with someone – it is not happening to YOU so there is only so much you can understand or go through; it is a very scary, lonely experience.  Sometimes there are no words you can say – you just need to BE there.  That’s all just BE THERE.  That means more than any words you can say.

If you (like I did) went through cancer without the support of a spouse – you need to know that God loves you and even though cancer came as a surprise to you – it did not come as a surprise to Him.  The Bible tells us that “He has engraved you on the palms of His hands.” (Isaiah 49:16) God has not forsaken nor has He forgotten you.  He LOVES you.  I have gotten through the last 6 years (come the end of this month) with all the changes that have ensured in my life by clinging to my faith.  People WILL disappoint you ALL the time (we are imperfect – that is normal) but God never will.

I don’t have all the answers. I’m still figuring out everything as I go. What I have learned is that those who TRULY love you will be there for you no matter what.  Those who aren’t don’t deserve you and you are better off without them.  My eyes are focused on God and the plans He has for me.  My calling is to write, my desire is to give back to others – pay it forward in the best ways I can.  I have learned to be true to myself.  Life hasn’t been what I thought it would be – I did not sign up for cancer – I was drafted.  But that was ONLY a chapter of my life.  It is true that the residue is still there.  The scars go deeper than the one that is where you would place your hand to say the pledge of allegiance on my chest.  They run deeper below the surface, but instead of choosing to become bitter I chose to become better.  I am a work in progress.  I love deeper, I appreciate life with a fullness I never dreamed existed.  I believe that the BEST is yet to come – no matter how hard the post-cancer struggle to get there.  My back is straight, my head is held high and my chin is set firm.  I have learned myself worth, I know what I bring to the table – even when I have sat at that table alone.  Blessed ARE the people I allow in my inner-circle because I love faithfully, fiercely and truly – double fisted!  I have learned to appreciate life that not one of us is promised tomorrow – so I fill today with as much love as I can.  I live to the best of my ability and I never neglect to show OR tell those I love that I love them.  That is NOT mush – it is truth.  I choose to surround myself with those who want to be in my life and I fully turn around and moon those who don’t.  I know God has plans for my life and even during those times when anxiety or depression overtakes me – I still believe that God is in control of my life.  Because the truth is, He is.  And honestly, that is ALL that really matters to me… The rest is frosting.

 

May 23, 2016

Who Are You Choosing to Believe?


Whose Report Will YOU Believe?
I have been seeking the Lord’s face diligently on certain matters, because being in the center of His will is the desire of my heart.  I have no problem talking to God, I know for a fact He has indicated through His Word that He desires to have a “personal” relationship with me and I delight in that.  Don’t believe it? Take a look:
“Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in and dine with that person, and they with me.”(Revelations 3:20)

God desires to have a personal relationship with you.  Often time my problem is not with the communication part, it’s with the response part.  The trust and faith that God wants to respond to ME.  In my heart the Holy Spirit tells me that this is the true.  That God loves ME.  In my head (the place that ol’ slewfoot likes to attack, otherwise known as the battlefield) sometimes it’s hard to believe.
Each one of us has the pages of our youth written upon our lives. For some of us, if we haven’t had a positive experience with our earthly fathers, it tends to reflect on how we feel our Heavenly Father feels about us.  Truthfully this is not the case.  Our Heavenly Father is PERFECT, our earthly fathers (or parents) are not.  For me, I had an earthly father who was not a father; he was solely a “sperm donor,” what I mean by that is that my birth father had no clue or concept of how to be a father.  He had no interest in anything or anyone other than himself.  I don’t say that with bitterness, I say it matter of fact. He left my mother when she was pregnant with my brother, for another woman.  He cheated on my mother and left her.  Now, the reason why I bring that up is because I was three years old when the “sperm donor” left my mother for another woman.  I had had a relationship with him.  It devastated me.  Children have a tendency to view things with the limited knowledge of experience they have.  I believed my father left ME.

Now, we live in a broken sinful world.  I am no better than the “sperm donor” everyone sins differently.  It is not for me to judge him.  I use to judge him in anger, but in having once been a prodigal – I can honestly say, be careful how you judge someone – judging is only the duty of God, not man.  You have to tread very carefully or you can find yourself walking in someone else’s (the person you are judging’s shoes). One day the sperm donor will have to give an account to God for his actions. For his sake I hope he has made Jesus his Lord and Savior and is covered by the precious blood of Jesus.
“Come now and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet they shall be as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

God brought my mother through it, made her stronger for it.  She put herself through school, provided for my brother and I (which at that time for a divorced mother was not easy), five years later, God brought into her life the man who would truly become my father – my dad, the one who loved me and raised me, the man who poured his life into mine. My mother became one of my heroes. A stronger woman I have never known.
But the damage had been done… When it came to having a relationship with my Heavenly Father it was hard for me to accept or believe that He really desire to have one.  That He would never leave nor forsake me.  So sometimes, believing that God cares is hard for me to do.  The scars that one develops as a child are probably the hardest ones to heal.  But if we allow God to – He is able to heal them. We simply have to lay our pain at the foot of the cross. Give it to Him.

One of the problems I have experienced in my post cancer life is a tendency to be filled with anxiety.  I worry.  Anxiety and worry are not of God.  But when my anxiety is at its worse, I lose sleep, I lose my appetite, I become depressed and I get discouraged.  I overthink.  The worst is that I often seclude myself from people when my anxiety is at its very worse.  This is exactly what ol’slewfoot wants  and its something that I have been working on within myself because as the Bible says:
“I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalms 34:4)

as well as:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.  And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

God desires us to trust Him.  To walk by faith, to not be led by our feelings, this is not an easy thing to do, the first part of healing comes in recognizing when we are falling back into our own pattern of worry and anxiety and calling it out before the Lord just as soon as it happens.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your path.”  (Proverbs 3:5-7)

It’s about knowing our promises and reciting them when we feel weak, when we feel scared.  It’s about knowing and trusting that in spite of what occurred in our childhood that God is our Father and is greater than anything that has occurred in our past, present AND future.  We walk by faith and not by sight trusting that God will continue to do His good and perfect will in our lives because we have given our lives to Him.
He is bigger than our sickness
He is bigger than our bills/debt
He is bigger than our depression, anxiety or fear

God IS ABLE!

This is why it is important for us to read His promises to us – which are found in the Bible and hold them securely in our hearts.  To lean on them, trust and believe in them.  To look at past examples in the Bible and to see ALL the times that God delivered His chosen ones.  To truly hold dear in our hearts that God loves us, cares about us and wants us to come to Him and tell Him all the things that concern us.  When we do this, God will continue to show us that He is REAL and that HE is on the throne and that HE alone is God.
The question becomes WHO are YOU going to believe? I choose to believe the report of the Lord. It is something that I have to choose to do, daily.