Thursday, March 21, 2013

Connection


There is such power in connection! A connection to God, to others, and to our inner selves shows courage and creativeness. Connection keeps us grounded in hard times, provides healing in sad times and yet has the ability to still let us fly high in our dreams and hopes.

I am inspired by this video because it shows connection in a very beautiful way. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Compassion Story

Stories like Joana's will make you want to
GET UP & DO SOMETHING! *grin*

When God lead me to Purity's picture, (the first girl I sponsored) the initial thing I noticed was her smile & her small ankles. I learned she was an 8 yr old orphan in Kenya & God whispered to my heart, "She needs you." I also read about all the COOL things the Compassion center could provide her! Things like Bible studies, health screening, sports, social clubs, computer training, tuition, tree planting opportunities and arts & crafts. When I found out we could write each other too, that sealed the deal. Now I sponsor & write four kids!





You know if God's calling you to do it. Are you fighting against His prompting? I'm not saying He's calling everyone...but I know He's calling others. Let His Spirit Lead You. Sponsor a child! Pass on your love & His and help them dream bigger!

Go to My Compassion Story page to see some other children's lives that you can make a difference in today.

If you have any questions about my experiences with this organization or the children, please comment below! :)

"The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed."
 
Proverbs 11:25 (NLT)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Run in such a way...

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." 1 Cor. 9:24-27

Times are tough right now for myself and a few close friends and coworkers. As I was praying on Friday during my coffee & cozy, God brought up something I hadn't thought about in years. Rocky. Maybe it's cliche, but as I watched a video of the specific training montage in movie one, all kinds of spiritual truths came gushing out.

So as funny as it sounds, I want to encourage you to picture yourself as "Rocky" as you watch this short video. See the personal training as a Christian that you must do and how sometimes it's not pretty, see those around you encouraging you, see the narrow road through a messy world, how your walk with God prepares you for those times when life can punch you in the gut, hear the words "trying hard now, it's so hard now, getting strong now, won't be long now, gonna fly now, flying high now, gonna fly" and how with time, discipline and perseverance we gain momentum and as we climb - ultimately there is victory in Christ!

My prayer is that you get in your bible, get on your knees, worship God then rest in Him, ask for help when you need it, and know there are people in your corner and Jesus is leading their cheers for you. :)


The video is better quality when not viewed on your mobile
so if you are having trouble viewing it then you might try on a computer :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

God's Power


Power defined: The ability or capacity to perform or act effectively; authority

The word “power” can have negative connotations in a world that seeks its own way, loves being the best, and glorifies the character of stepping on others to win. Yet meditating on the power of God brings me feelings of awe and comfort. Enjoy!

Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

Many people use the description, ‘It seemed like an eternity!’ yet we have little concept of what that term really means. Eternity means an infinite duration, without beginning in the past or end in the future.

1 Corinthians 2:4-5My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.” 

A great question to ask is, "What do I rest my faith on?" Deeply consider: is it on your works, what others teach, or is it truly on God's promises and the ways you have seen God’s power in your life?
 
2 Corinthians 13:3b-4 “He (Jesus) is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God's power.”

Jesus lives today because of God’s power! Picture Jesus with no life in his body. Now imagine that by God’s power life begins to flow into Jesus again: his pulse, his breathing, his mind all awake! Wow.

Ephesians 3:7 “I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power.”

We are able to have God’s grace due to the workings of His power. I like to imagine Him handing me this gift and seeing others try to shake it from our hands…yet that God is too powerful to let anyone take it. :)

Also see: 1 Peter 1:3-6

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Portion Controlled Breakfast

I'm so thankful for breakfast time. I really enjoy the quiet of the morning, sitting at my 180 year old dining table, resting in the peace of God's presence and spending time with Him. Lately, I've been looking for breakfasts that are fast and freeze well so that making breakfast doesn't cut into my time with Him. It also helps if they would help with portion control too. :)  I really like this recipe below so I thought I'd share. I've baked these muffins using Bisquick and eggs, bacon, and even mushrooms. I've also pushed some frozen fresh blueberries in the top of a few. Yum!

Directions:
  • Pre-heat oven to 375
  • Follow Bisquick directions to make drop biscuits.
  • Use muffin paper cups / spray muffin tin with organic olive oil spray
  • Spread only a spoonful of Bisquick batter into bottom of muffin tin (kind of spread it out)
  • Scramble one egg for every two muffins you decide to make (I only scrambled slightly)
  • Pour over Bisquick 1/2 egg into each muffin tin
  • I added cooked bacon / mushrooms to top
  • Cook them for 15 min.
Refrigerate or freeze them for later. I've done both and they heat up perfectly when microwaved.

Another comfort I'm enjoying lately is hot ginger tea. It's a simple recipe that I found on Martha Stewart's website. It has a little kick and I find it warms me inside and out anytime I feel weary or if I get a winter's chill.

Spicy, yummy Hot Ginger Tea goodness: Yields 4 to 5 cups:

Ingredients: 8 to 10 slices of unpeeled, fresh ginger - 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger - Brown sugar, to taste.

Directions: Add ginger slices, grated ginger, and brown sugar to 4 to 5 cups water and bring to a boil in a saucepan for approximately 20 minutes. Strain and serve immediately.


Monday, March 11, 2013

The Potter & His Clay

Over my vacation, I was mediating on scriptures referencing God as a potter and us as his clay. I realized, again, that I'm really hard on myself, especially toward my outward appearance. I'm hiking up to 3 miles a few times a week but I'm not happy with the progress...yet that is nothing to hang my head down at! One of the things I wrote in my journal was, "Who am I comparing myself too?" I think that's an important question and I'm still mediating on it. I might be comparing myself to a 'younger' version of me? Hmmm....





I also affirmed that I'm a sensitive soul, made rough by past circumstances, and that God is reshaping me again into a child likeness. And so, in the spirit of embracing and the rediscovery of my child-like heart...I give you my clay creations :) This 'sculpty' clay is great. After you create with it, simply bake it in the oven at 275, 15 minutes for each 1/4 thickness.












Friday, March 8, 2013

Rest Secure - a tiny adventure continued...

My no make-up, unplugged, let your hair down, Thoreauvian style getaway (well, maybe a bit more upscale than ole Henry's) was good! I stayed at the "Homestead Cottages." Click this "VRBO link" to see the tiny home...since they have great pictures of inside the house, there's no reason for me to repost those here. You can enjoy a few of the 114 pictures I took below. LOL...



I did some reading, wrote prayers to God in my newly crafted journal and relaxed. Six deer passed by on a small trail behind the house the first night I relaxed in the hot tub outside. I saw another the next morning when I was fixing coffee and three more the last night I was there.





I wish I could say I melted right into being unplugged but, no. I wrote that I felt like a paper doll that had been cut out and placed there. It's often hard for me to detox when I first go on vacation but then I can normally settle in nicely. Maybe it's hard to let go and be okay being where I am? Or maybe it was being by myself in a strange place, in the woods?


All I know is that after a few hours, I was anxious to get home already.

BUT I was there for a reason...to be still & listen for God's voice and to sculpt with clay for the first time. Sometimes, you just have to lead your heart...especially when the woods are dark.

The house had stained glass windows that showered little rainbows everywhere. I studied out "clay" in the bible and read about how God is our "potter" when suddenly I was compelled to get out of the house and take a nature walk because I realized...

... to be in nature is to truly be God's created among His created things...all else is to be God's created enveloped by man's created things.

I've worked hard on how to truly express what moved me because the harmony of being in nature at that moment was very beautiful! I felt the most comfortable there when out in nature. Anyway, so, did I finally settle in? Well, I'd have to say, no...not really. After hours of silence and working on sculptures...I had to call my mom! Then I watched the special features of JAWS and parts of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" (the options were limited - grin) Maybe I wasn't cut out for Thoreau's life? HA. I think I wanted some GRAND revelation...but maybe, those were just my plans. I had a nice time with God, got away for awhile, tried a new craft and I'm certain as I review my journal of the trip more will stand out. Otherwise, I'm just going to rest secure.

Oh, one last thing. The last evening there, I was getting ready to write a note in the visitors' journal. As I flipped through three years worth of notes, I kept seeing people draw a picture of an eye with ???'s after it. Many mentioned the 'eyes' were creepy while others said they thought they were fun. I had no idea what they were talking about! An important thing to know is that this tiny home is made of reclaimed material by a builder down in south Texas. Finally, one person mentioned that the 'eyes' were located up in the knot holes of the walls. The owner of the Tiny Home replied that this is a signature trade mark of the builder and nothing sinister...so what do you think? In my pictures below the flash fires so they are very obvious but with the normal shadows of the day, they aren't as glaring. I think I found about 7 in the house. After talking with some coworkers, most wonder with me if my subconscious 'saw' them and this is why I could not settle in and get comfortable. ??? :)







three deer in this photo - can you find them?
click on the picture to see it larger








 
My communion by candlelight (flameless candle)...





One eye is in the knot hole next to my head in the pic above this...
of course, at the time I had no idea...LOL!

Eye in the ceiling about 13 feet above me...

Sunrise coming home.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Tiny Adventure!

I wanted to do something special for my 39th birthday and I knew it would be hard to top last year's adventure of the up-close cheetah encounters. Either I wanted to see something unique or stay somewhere unique. 

I looked at a tepee, a railroad car, a remote cabin, an alpaca B&B, and a retro luxury airstream but none of those seemed just right. But there was one other unique lodging possibility that kept drawing me to it...

...a tiny home.

I've been fascinated with them and the whole minimalism lifestyle in general for about 3 years now. In fact, Walden is one of my favorite books and it's on my dream list to see Walden pond and the replica home of Henry David Thoreau. But, I can't yet afford to make that trip to Concord so a stay in a tiny home seemed the next best thing.

The plan: 4.5hr solo road trip, stay two nights, drive back.
The intention: Quality time with Jesus, baby!
The spiritual: sculpt with clay for the first time, meditate on scriptures mentioning God & clay (Job:33:6; Isaiah 45:8-9, 64:8-9; Jeremiah 18:1-10; Lamentations 4:2; Romans 9:21; & 2 Corinthians 4:4-18)
The focus: go natural (no make-up & no fancy clothes), live simple, get refreshed.

More details about the trip to come but first I wanted to describe the preparation:

Simple soup: rice, purple onion, black beans,
greens, diced tomatoes, 1 potato

Simple stew: pico, lentils, grilled chicken, greens
















fresh fruit & tomatoes, yogurt & granola, pudding, trail mix, oatmeal, dark choc. & cheese
refreshment: POM juice, ginger & brown sugar for ginger tea, wine

As a solo traveler, I was given a discount but the price was still a bit more than I usually like to pay for accommodations. So I decided staying at the tiny home would be my destination and entertainment. I would pack a cooler full of food (the tiny home does have a kitchen) and just chill there the whole time. After all, it is in the country and does have an outdoor hot tub so the thought of chilling, in the boonies, enjoying the evening air, & looking up at the stars sounded magical. Yay for adventure & time away with Jesus! :)

More pictures in the next post!